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December 2004
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February 2005

Taking steps

There's an simple fitness program called 10,000 steps. The assumption is that the average office worker gets in about 5000 steps a day, but could do with more exercise to get/keep fit. Steps are an easy thing to quantify - you start off small and add a few hundred a week. 10,000 is a nice sounding number, but maybe adding even only 2000, along with watching your diet, would be enough.

So - I splurged and bought a pedometre a few days ago and started off. Lazing around the house, up and down the stairs, a few chores - barely breaks 1000. Taking the bus downtown - rattling your filings - adds 1000 easily as I bounce along. However, I think I'm supposed to turn it off then.

I can head out for a brisk 20 minutes and add 2500-3000 steps, or walk all afternoon and really click on several days worth. The challenge, as with everything, is consistency. 

Politically correct armaments

The Washington Post and others speak of the latest not-so-smart bomb in Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Jan. 8 -- A U.S. warplane mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb Saturday on a house in a village near the northern city of Mosul, killing several Iraqis, according to witnesses and the U.S. military........[it] was part of "a cordon and search operation to capture an anti-Iraqi force cell leader," the military said in a statement. The satellite-guided bomb struck a house that "was not the intended target. . . . The intended target was another location nearby.".... the military "deeply regretted the loss of possibly innocent lives." The owner of the house told news services that the bomb killed 14 people, including seven children.

During testing some of these bombs fail the accuracy requirments and would normally be rejected. However, equal rights groups have protested this discrimination and demanded that the ones that are "challenged" also be included.

That's my theory. However, I'm not sure if this counts as friendly fire - or un-friendly fire.

Multi-media Modigliani

Well, I braved the cold rain of Toronto yesterday and made it to the AGO for the Modigliani exhibit. It was worth the price of admission. As in free, as part of my membership. Didn't know who this guy was, or what he did, and I never really found out.

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, so a little crowded, but the main problem was the audio guides they rented - about the size and shape of a cordless phone handset. Concept is above each of the major paintings is a number, you punch that into the keypad on the guide and listen to an explanation of that painting. So, standing in front of each painting was a crowd of people, listening to the guide, staring off into space, not really looking at the art.  Looked like they were checking their voice mail, for really long messages. There was some signage next to the paintings too, but was brown on beige - a challenge for my eyes. I looked from a distance, but the portraits all seemed of the same long-nosed woman.

I left, and wandered the rest of the gallery.  Which was relatively empty, and quite enjoyable.

Then out in the rain to the pub across the street, The Village Idiot at McCaul and Dundas. The sort of place where I feel right at home. Eclectic music, eclectic people, sipped a Red Baron lager and people watched.

We need more relaxing pubs like that here in Ottawa.

2004 New Year's resolutions

I talked to my sister New Year's Eve, she has a better plan for this year's resolutions - none. Sounds good to me. So I've decided rather than me picking all those optimistic resolutions for the coming year, and then wallowing in the depths of guilt and despair once they are missed, it's more rewarding to celebrate the successes of the past year. So from now on I'll do my resolutions after the year is done.

So, my resolutions for 2004 were:

  • finally get a digital camera and play with it
  • blog more
  • do some interesting QA work (and get paid well for it)
  • renovate my kitchen
  • go to a rave
  • take up hang-gliding

So looking back, was a pretty good year - 5 out of 6 is good enough for me.